*With grateful thanks to Henk Simonsz  www.pigeonfever.nl

*Co Verbree proudly shows the ‘Anita’, daughter of the ‘Limo’ and a beauty in the hand. In 2011, she managed to become the best hen of the Netherlands and in 2012, 4th best hen. Both titles in the WHZB competition.

We have now come to 1995, the birth year of the small 95-230. The ‘230’ was the first child, a cock, out of the couple Blauwe Geeloog (Mattens x Sissy) x the Beauty 1, and like his brother and sister, he would grow into a super breeder. Many fanciers imagine a super breeder to be a mighty cock with a macho look, big wings, and fantastic built and quivering muscles. That is what the fashion trend wants to see. The ‘230’ was a very small, unremarkable cock and, seen through the eyes of a fancier, more of an anti-hero than an inspiring strongman. When you look at one of his sons, who at present still raises six rounds of young per year, you’ll see about same built. Also small, lanky, almost impossible to grasp in the loft and a head like a hen.
But when you take the time to look at the cock when he is not hurried and feels at ease, you’ll see the quality of the bird. The pigeon we are talking about here is of course the world famous ‘Limo’ from Co Verbree from Putten.

As shy and nervous as he behaves when sitting in the loft, so determined and courageous he becomes when he has a nest with eggs or young. Co says that he becomes terribly aggressive and will peck at your hands when he gets a chance. You’d think it was a different cock, unbelievable, what a character that small bird has. And take a look at the eyes in that small head. He misses nothing and the way he looks at you… A pigeon with brains, you can really tell. And what good are strong muscles and big wings when the bird doesn’t have the intelligence to find its way home. Or when it doesn’t have any stamina but just gives up at the first hurdle.
1995, the birth year of the ‘230’, seems like a long time ago, but only two weeks ago (July 2014) I visited Co Verbree to look at his best known son, the ‘Limo’ (03-765). And it turned out that the leap to the present is not so great after all, because the ‘Limo’ is still very fertile and still looks very active. It might be because that Co Verbree lets him raise all young himself for the full breeding cycle. There is not a series of broody hens who want his attentions, but the same hen for the entire year. The cock has very little stress, feels at ease, has a very good life and that does not only show in him but above all in his young. Fantastic!

Beautiful young pigeons. This is by now the 6th breeding round of 2014 that is raised by the 'Limo' himself.

Beautiful young pigeons. This is by now the 6th breeding round of 2014 that is raised by the ‘Limo’ himself.

In 2001, Co Verbree went to Ad Schaerlaeckens for the first time. The (breeding) fame of the blood lines of brother and sister ‘Ace Four’ and the ‘Supertje 144’ had come to the attention of the worlds top. From Ad, Co bought two pigeons out of the ‘Orleansdoffertje’ (brother of father ‘Ace Four’) and gave them the names ‘Adino’ (NL01-083) and ‘Adina’ (NL01-084). The ‘Adino’ became among others father of three teletext pigeons; the ‘Anja’ (02-758), ‘Sayura’ (02-852) and ‘Shakira’ (05-278) but also father of the ‘Blauwe Co’, who became a very good breeder for Willem de Bruijn, and when Willem calls it a good breeder, it must be very special indeed…
But also with these first Schaerlaeckens pigeons, there were many fanciers who underestimated them completely because of their external appearances. The same that happened to Ad when he came home with the ‘Sissy’. History repeated itself with Co Verbree. For a sale of late youngsters, he had bred a (in his eyes) nice cock, but nobody wanted to buy it. Everyone dismissed the small bird. In the end, Co kept the cock himself because he knew his parentage and he called it the ‘Crespo’. It became a very good breeder who, before he was stolen from the loft, became among others father of the ‘Salino’ (06-855) who flew 2x teletext and who is one Co’s best breeders at this moment!

The pigeons from Ad Schaerlaeckens flourished with the care and accommodation of Co Verbree, which was apparent by the fantastic achievements in racing and in breeding. For 2003, Co again ordered a few pigeons from Ad Schaerlaeckens, but the demand was so enormous that Co could only buy three. Fanciers from all over the world came to Baarle-Nassau, trying to secure offspring of the lines Mattens-Sissy-Beauty 1. When Co Verbree arrived in Baarle-Nassau, there were more buyers there, but during a quiet moment, Ad told him that he had two young out of the ‘230’ that Co certainly had to take home to Putten. Co could take his pick and went home with only one out of the ‘230’, the ‘Limo’. He didn’t take its nest sister but chose an ‘even better one’ out of one of the other couples. Co told me that he has very much regretted that decision. Because not only the ‘Limo’ became a top breeder, his nest sister, the one that Co had left, also became a champion breeder. Co had later traced that hen, and it turned out that she had also produced a series of good to very good pigeons. A pity, but Co was happy with his ‘Limo’, who was also a pigeon you seldom see the like of.
This didn’t mean that the other birds were not good pigeons, but the quality of the ‘Limo’ is of course outstanding. One of the other two pigeons was the ‘Mischa’, a child from ‘Wounded Knee’, and who still had a good amount of blood from the ‘Goede Jaarling’ from Ad Schaerlaeckens. Just how special these pigeons were, is evident in the achievements of the ‘Azira’, the last hen that was bred by the ‘Mischa’. As a young pigeon, she hadn’t been basketed at all, but despite this handicap, as a yearling she flew the 5th national Salbris zone 2 against 9,566 pigeons (!) with a teletext mention. How do you mean, bright and intelligent…

Beautiful young pigeons. This is by now the 6th breeding round of 2014 that is raised by the 'Limo' himself

Also people with fewer good intentions discovered the quality of the pigeons from Co Verbree, and he has had several pigeons stolen. Very hard blows that really knocked him for six, but miraculously, the ‘Limo’ was saved from being stolen because by chance he sat in another loft or because the thieves were disturbed in their activities before they could take him.
The most talked about children of the ‘Limo’ are of course the ‘Marchino’ (NL08-499) and the ‘Anita’ (NL10-498). But also in Belgium, successes were achieved with descendants of the ‘Limo’. Keizer of the Union, Andre Roodhooft, bought a cock out of the ‘Limo’ from Co and with him he bred his B08-037. As a youngster this pigeon won among others a 1st Bourges against 5,974 pigeons, a 1st Melun against 1,109 pigeons, and has many more lead prizes to his name, until sadly, he was basketed once too often…

The ‘Marchino’ achieved an unprecedented performance by becoming the best cock of the Netherlands in the WHZB competition of 2011. The ‘Anita’, a fantastic hen in the hand, didn’t do any less and became the best hen of the Netherlands in the same WHZB competition in 2011. In 2012, she showed her pure quality again by becoming 4th best hen of the Netherlands.
I’m almost certain that this feat of supremacy will never be equaled. A cock and a hen that together claim the title best cock and hen of the Netherlands and who both come out of the same father, but with two different hens. More proof of his breeding quality the ‘Limo’ does not have to provide, at least not for me…

'Marchino', son of the 'Limo', became best cock of the Netherlands 2011 in the WHZB competition.

‘Marchino’, son of the ‘Limo’, became best cock of the Netherlands 2011 in the WHZB competition.

The ‘Limo’ is now 11 years old and still produces very good quality offspring. His form is, for his age, fantastic. A beautiful body, no scales anywhere, nicely closed and full in the flesh. It seems that the condition in the lofts of Co Verbree is so good that the breeders do not suffer much from their activities in the breeding loft. I did notice the atmosphere in the loft, everything was in harmony, the fancier himself included.
A very nice man with a lot of experience who knows what he is talking about. No nonsense or using difficult methods. But a professional par excellence, of whom the Dutch pigeon sport, may be proud.
The ‘Limo’ is the most famous son of the ‘230’, brother of ‘Ace Four’ and ‘Het Supertje’, who didn’t get their names for nothing. They were born in 1996 and already in their birth year, they provided unequaled results in the races…

(To be continued)